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NCAA Bracket 2012: Baylor To Play South Dakota State In First Round

After landing the No. 3 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Baylor Bears will be playing the No. 14 seed South Dakota State to kick things off in the first round.

The Jackrabbits, who have been coached by Scott Nagy since 1995, only became a Division I school in 2008.

They finished the 2011-2012 regular season with a 27-7 record. In non-conference play, they lost by more than 10 points to three mediocre Power Six teams (Georgia, Nebraska and Minnesota) but they got an impressive scalp in a road win over Pac-12 regular season champion Washington.

But despite a 15-3 record in Summit Conference play, they needed OT to defeat Western Illinois 52-50 in the conference title game to receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

South Dakota State is led by 6'4 190 junior guard Nate Wolters, who put himself in NBA draft discussions this season by averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

The Jackrabbits four top scorers after Wolters all average at least 40% shooting from three, which should pose a real challenge to Baylor's 1-3-1 zone.

The Bears, meanwhile, will have a huge advantage on the front-line, as South Dakota State, like most low-major teams is quite undersized. They only have four players above 6'7 on the roster, and they don't have any big men who can match up with 6'11 235 Perry Jones III or 6'9 200 Quincy Miller.

Many people are already circling the Jackrabbits as a possible bracket buster, with CBS TV analyst Seth Davis predicting they'll upset Baylor.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.